Coaching Leadership

Small Efforts, Big Improvements

I’m a strong believer in the power of small efforts to make some big improvements. It’s particularly powerful when you need to repeat a task often, but just getting into the practice of making things slightly better each time almost always pays off.

There are a couple of XKCD comics that illustrate when the investment might be too large, or ways you can distract yourself from the original goal. Get in the time sweet spot and stay focused, and that’s where you make the big impact.

It can be especially satisfying to put the small effort up against something that’s slowly been getting worse. When you don’t notice the daily change, but looking at it over months it’s maybe half as good as it used to be.

I recently spent some time fixing up all my taps. London water is hard, each day you get just a bit more limescale and a slightly slower flow. Leave it long enough and you can be sitting around for ages each time you fill the kettle!

So I grabbed some tools, stripped back the offending parts of the taps and gave them a proper clean. Each one took less than ten minutes, and it got quicker as I went.

Each little fix has massively improved how the taps work, and now I know how easy it is to fix them up, the motivation to keep them maintained is high.

So what can you do that’s only a small effort but will make a big improvement to your daily life?

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